A new online space for educational activities
The section of education and research is dedicated to answering the needs that arise in teaching through facilitating connections between schools and the educational services of the Studies Center. It aims to provide work tools and create new opportunities to discuss Primo Levi’s works in the world of education. Teachers can draw from the online resources featured free of charge and become promoters of educational projects and contents to be shared online at our site.
Talking, Teaching, Learning about Auschwitz
Primo Levi wrote in his 1976 Appendix to his account of the Shoah,
“If This is a Man has been accepted by students and teachers with a favor that has by far surpassed my own expectations and those of my editors. Hundreds of students from all over Italy have asked me to comment on my book in writing or, if possible, in person. Within the limits of my commitments, I have satisfied these requests, so much so that I have added a third profession to my other two – that of presenter and commentator on myself – or rather, on that far-away self that had lived through the adventure of Auschwitz and had told of it.”
Each of these encounters brought out “many questions – naïve or knowledgeable ones, emotional or provocative ones, superficial or basic ones,” such, in any case, to feed an intense dialogue that has gone one even after Levi’s death. In fact, his works, even in school editions, are among the most read books in the various levels of schools and, in general, among young people primarily in Italy but also in France, the United States and other countries. The interest of the world of education in Primo Levi is also demonstrated by the number of schools and libraries named after him.
"Student: I wanted to know what you think about the young people of today?
This is the question that is never missing. I think that they are luckier than the young people of yesterday in a certain way because they are living in a world at peace, at least temporarily, and because all of them or almost all of them have access to culture. I am not talking only about school, but I’m also thinking about newsstands. Today there is a vast selection before a newsstand. You can choose to be informed, be entertained, to be educated. I’m thinking of the ease with which we can travel today, even without a lot of change. Today you take a bicycle, a mountain pack and go. The borders are all open. You can go into any country in the world. Yet, there is what balances this out and it is the very serious problem that we are witnessing today – and not only in Italy – of what happens after school, and this is the problem of finding work. […] As for a judgment of the young people of today, I refuse to make it, if you permit me. I don’t think that the youth of today are different than the young people of yesterday in their human make up. I believe that in Italy they are at least better than us because some basic concepts are more widespread than they were 30 or 40 years ago – those that we talked about before – concepts of tolerance, democracy, and the right of equality in inequality.
Luciana Costantini & Orietta Togni (Eds.), Primo Levi, "Il gusto dei contemporanei" [The Taste of Our Contemporaries], Quaderno numero 7, Banca Popolare Pesarese e Ravennate, 1990.
The Studies Center makes educational kits available that enable users to explore still little-known aspects of Primo Levi’s production and to approach topics that are most often discussed in classrooms from original points of view.
The Center makes available for teachers and students a collection of multimedia and multidisciplinary material useful for study and teaching.
The School Bulletin Board gathers together specific proposals and work tools concerning Levi’s figure and his works that come from different sources – mainly middle- and upper-level secondary schools but also government and private associations. Any teacher who has developed an original educational project or teaching unit is invited to publish the material she or he has produced in the School Bulletin Board.
A space for schools, teachers, and trainers who wish to share their teaching projects or activities created with the help of the Center’s kits.
The Teaching Journal gathers together the articles on our site that take into account initiatives and events concerning schools as well as contributions and recommendations about events that would be useful for keeping teachers and researchers up to date.
Only users who register on the site can access teaching resources and upload materials on the School Bulletin Board.